Football Continues Fall Preseason
STATESBORO, Ga. Georgia Southern continued working through week three of preseason football camp, putting in a two hour workout Thursday afternoon. The Eagles will practice Friday and Saturday before taking Sunday off.
After practicing in full pads the first three days of this week, Georgia Southern went in shoulder pads only for Thursday’s session and is scheduled to do the same Friday. Head coach Chris Hatcher was pleased with the team’s effort early on but admitted the consistency level dropped at the end.
“We had a great practice going early on then at the end we kind of hit a wall. We started to get real inconsistent. We have to come out tomorrow and be more consistent in what we’re doing as we head into the weekend. Saturday is really the last day of our camp before we divide the teams up and start getting ready for West Georgia.”
During the 11-on-11 drills the quarterback trio of Travis Clark, Billy Lowe and Jayson Foster combined to go 10-of-12 passing. Clark threw two touchdown passes, one to senior wide receiver Irving Campbell, and Foster ran for another. However, the defense stepped up at times, keeping the offense to little or no gain on 14 snaps during the drill.
Later in redzone situations (from the 10-yard line in) Michael McIntosh, Raja Andrews, Garryon Taylor and Steve Cundari all caught a touchdown pass while Lamar Lewis broke around the left side for another score.
According to Hatcher, “Each team had their way with one another (during those drills) but there was a lot of poor execution today. It wasn’t one of our best 11-on-11 workouts.”
DEFENSIVE LINE SEEING IMPROVEMENTS: Georgia Southern accounted for 11 sacks last year, however, just over half of those sacks are credited to returning players. Junior Branden Daniel (40 tackles) paced the defensive unit with 4.5 sacks totaling 20 yards. Junior Jerry Barker (29 tackles) recorded one-half sack and linebacker Terrione Benefield had one sack last year. The Eagles will look to their defensive line to put up even bigger numbers.
On the interior, Daniel and Barker are joined by fellow classmate Damon Suggs (2.5 TFL) and senior T.J. Watkins (34 tackles). Line coach Jeff Koonz noted the recent play of Suggs and said competition has benefited the entire unit.
“I think the competition between everyone inside is making everyone better. No one can take a day off or else it might cost them their position,” said Koonz.
At defensive end junior Larry Beard (21 tackles, 5.0 TFL) was the only defensive player to receive preseason All-Southern Conference honors. Junior Matt Wise started his career along the defensive line, moved to tight end last year, then switched again to defensive end last spring. Senior Joey Tuttle (11 games played) also handles the long snapping duties. That trio is joined by a group of newcomers: Kerry Bonds (South Carolina), Jerome Pelham (Nassau CC), Brandon Lee Williams (College of San Francisco), Charwell Brown (Coffeeville JC) and Brandon McEachern.
“All of those guys are out there working hard. It’s been real hot, but they have been coming out to practice, not complaining and trying to get better every day,” said defensive ends coach Bubba Walker. “Absolutely we have seen them progressing, especially with the JUCO guys. It takes them a little while to understand what it takes to practice at a championship level. They’re working at that, catching on and understanding our schemes.”
Georgia Southern opens the 2007 season on Saturday, September 8, against West Georgia with kickoff scheduled for 6 p.m. For ticket information call the Georgia Southern ticket office at (912) 681-0123 or 800-GSU-WINS.
- Category: Football
- Published on Thursday, 23 August 2007 00:15